Friday, April 27, 2012

In Praise of Procrastiwork

Cup of the day #102
Unfurling Leaves by Gwyneth Leech
Colored India Ink on white Ecotainer

A terrific article called "Procrastiworking Your Way to Creative Success" by An Xiao landed in my inbox the other day. The concept is that we should pay close attention to the things we actually do when we are not doing the things we think we are supposed to do. Drawing on cups is the perfect example! How many hours have I spent utterly committed to this art form while I was in my studio not painting in the traditional way on canvases?! And see where it has taken me - from a casual start with cup and pen at PTA meetings to major public art installations in the heart of Manhattan! These public presentations have in turn led to sales of cup drawings to collectors, to further exhibiton opportunities and to an avalanche of press coverage. The commitment and the passion we bring to the things that really grab our attention - even if those things seem absurd - can take us to fantastic and totally unexpected places!

Cup drawing installation by Gwyneth Leech
in the Sprint Flatiron Artspace, February 2012
800 cups drawings were the fruits of four years of serious procrastiwork
 Photo © Marianne Barcelonna, all rights reserved

But what happens when one starts to procrastinate the procrastiwork? I admit I have been in a slower mode since finishing a five month stint of intense creativity and public interaction in the Sprint Flatiron Artspace in NYC. I have not been drawing or writing. Instead I have been looking and listening around the city - enjoying the long flowery spring, going to other artists' exhibitions and catching up on some new directions in the art world, meeting friends for tea in the five boroughs, hanging out with my two daughters. In short, it has been a delightful period of re-energizing and I have a lot of new images and ideas to share here on the Full Brew over the next few weeks.

Taking a break to watch the garden grow, April 2012

During this time I have also been studying the 350 drawings and paintings I did on my coffee cups while in the Flatiron - executed in such an intense and forward moving way that I hadn't time before to absorb the wealth of new imagery and directions they suggest. I have been out to Barbara Ellmann's studio again, finishing the cups with an encaustic process and enjoying the opportunity to discuss a plethora of art, life and philosophical topics while I dipped cups in molten beeswax and she worked on her paintings.

Enjoying Spring and unfurling leaves
Clinton Community Garden, April 2012

And in my art studio on 39th Street I am currently designing a new installation of over 600 of the cup drawings which will ship out soon to a Texas museum. Details to come. Still to finish: photographing and cataloguing the cups, mapping the installation, and packing everything ready for art handlers to receive and install. At the end of the day, there is no rest for the weary procrastiworker. But at least we really, really love what we do!

"Procrastiworking Your Way to Creative Success" by An Xiao was posted on Hyperallergic
on April 24th. For the full article Click here.

 Tea break in Herald Square, April 2012

1 comment:

  1. Hi Gwyneth--I love that the cups that fueled you internally are now fueled by the drawings that fill their surfaces. I hope that you'll share some of the encaustic cups with us in your upcoming posts--I'm very curious to see how the felt-tip images appears under veils of wax. Congrats on the Texas exhibit! p.s. am writing on a new blog site: